The Reporter • May 2012
Dancing on the Agha shares his motivation for trying out for dance team hali wimbush reporter
Cheering for Change
that I loved doing it and, actually, I was pretty good.” At the conference, Agha performed in front of more than 2,000 people. Another thing that hardened his resolve for trying out was when the drama department put on its production of ‘The Frogs’. “I loved all the dancing and decided I wanted to try out,” Agha said. The boys who intended to try out might have the chance next year to partici- Juniors Kami Crawford and Nevin McCracken dance during the pate in a halftime dance. winterhomecoming pep rally. “I would probably have practices for this sometime during the winter Dumpert said she has already started and the boys could perform at a basket- thinking about an opportunity for serious ball halftime,” Dumpert said. “I have not male dancers and performers and would had a chance to check with KSHSAA on welcome any male student who is willing whether they will sanction this, so I have to put in the time to learn a traditional hipmade no definite plans yet.” hop dance routine. Agha didn’t make the team this year, but When trying out for dance team, stuDumpert didn’t want students to become dents must be aware that dance team is discouraged and was willing to offer rea- a year-long commitment and the student son behind the cuts. must put dance team first. They also need “Most of the time, a dancer trying out to be comfortable performing in front of a that does not make it is not proficient large crowd according to Dumpert. enough in the technical aspect of the tryTo make the team the requirements are out requirements and/or cannot perform to proficiently demonstrate several leaps, the choreography,” Dumpert said. turns, jumps, and kicks at tryouts along Dumpert said that she has seen some with a choreographed dance that must be awesome choreography for dance teams learned in a short period of time, accordwith male performers and some horrible ing to Dumpert. choreography where the male dancers Dance team members for next year were not incorporated well. with their upcoming fall grade include “Good choreography is key,” Dump- upcoming freshmen, Shelbie Bennett, ert said. Lexi Weidman, Caylin Garrison, MagDumpert said students who love danc- gie Fleming, upcoming sophomore, ing but are not on the dance team still have Elizabeth Schroeder, upcoming juniors, opportunities to dance by trying out for Idalis Bird, Tera Brandt, Nina Lopez, the school musical. Sarah Ludwick, and upcoming seniors, “I also recommend taking ballet and Christine Bessey, Kami Crawford, Molly jazz technique classes at a studio to im- Delks, Megan Schroeder, and Samantha prove dance technique if a student is se- Smreker. rious about pursuing dance,” Dumpert said. Photo by Journey Capettini
Dance team has always been associated with feminine accessories such as bedazzled jackets, sparkling hairbands and ruby-red lipstick. However, this year junior Husain Agha challenged the stereotype by trying out for the dance team. Junior Cooper Sims-West planned to try out for the dance team, but decided not to. Sims-West said some st udents were not supportive about the idea. “Guys trying out is not a big deal,” SimsWest said. “When people become upset because people aren’t doing what is considered gender appropriate, we set our evolution as a society back. We weren’t doing this to make a scene. We did it for fun and, had we made it in, we would have taken it seriously.” Bonnie Dumpert, dance team coach, said having males on the team would be a positive. “I think this is a compliment to the quality of our dance team that boys are interested in the team,” Dumpert said. “I have actually had a boy on the middle school dance team, so I wasn’t surprised that several boys were interested.” Junior Megan Schroeder said she doesn’t have any opposition about the males who planned on trying out for the dance team. “I’m OK with it,” Schroeder said. “I don’t think they will be able to meet all of the requirements, like flexibility though.” Agha decided to try out for the dance team after he attended state as a Thespian board member. “While at a meeting, they asked if anyone wanted to be in the dance they do for the state conference,” Agha said. “I, of course, wanted to do it because I didn’t want to do a skit. It was an either/or choice. When we got to dancing I realized
BOUNDARIES Changes 4 Cheering Steutermann replaces cheer coach
katey colwell reporter Math teacher Natalie Steutermann will be the coach for next year’s cheerleading squad. When the previous cheer coach Amanda Gerken resigned Steutermann jumped on the opportunity to be coach. “I knew if I didn’t do it I would regret it”, Stuetermann said “I think it’s really important for a high school to have a strong cheerleading squad in order to be a positive influence on the students and to promote school spirit.” This will not be her first year coaching cheerleading. Steutermann coached this year at the middle school and prior to that coached cheer at Manhattan High School for the 2008-09 school year. As a new coach there will be changes made, and new goals set. This past school year there were only nine girls on the squad, but in the next few years Steutermann hopes the squad will grow to 16 members. Steutermann would like to see more stunting in their routines. Tryouts were on March 30 at the high school. Junior Samantha Wagner said she and other girls who tried out had to perform a group cheer, group dance, an individual chant with moves and stunts consisting of a toe touch and any jump of choice. The girls were judged by Steutermann on their knowledge of fundamentals and techniques, their teacher recommendations and not having any grades below a C-. “Miss Steutermann is so enthusiastic and it’s going to be a great year,” Wagner said. Along with a new cheer coach, the upcoming freshman on the squad will be Madison Folsom, Ashleigh Gorges, Madison Klaasmeyer, Emma Phipps and Amanda Wood. Returning cheerleaders will be upcoming sophomores Madison Armbruster and Mariah Dairy, upcoming junior Morgan Driskell, and upcoming seniors Abby Fletcher and Wagner. “I’m super-excited about being the new coach and I know I’ve got a really great group this year,” Steutermann said.